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I’m taking a class through E-Learning for Educators (Alabama) on measurement.  Here are some thoughts from today’s readings.  They are in no particular order.

Students need to develop a concept of measurement that includes the idea that measuring requires consistent units. An inch is an inch is an inch, but an inch isn’t the same as a centimeter–they can’t (practically) be combined when measuring the length of something.

Geometry (“Earth measure”) has its roots in spatial measurement.  It helps develop an understanding of 2- and 3-dimensional space. 

Measurement links math with the world, especially with science.

The idea of a unit of measure is fundamental, as is the notion that measurement involves the organized accumulation of standard units.

Developing the student’s ability to select an appropriate unit is critical.  This is not simple a matter of using inches vs. feet when measuring a paperback book; it involves developing an understanding of the units of length, area, and volume as well as well. 

Subdividing a space according to a unit and counting those units is called iteration.

Young children tend to think of a measurement as a position on a ruler, rather than as a measure of the space between the beginning of the ruler and that position. This can lead to trouble when they are measuring a length that begins at a point other than “0” on a ruler. It is notoriously difficult for students to correctly measure a line that extends from 2 to 5 on a ruler. Many say 5; others count the inch markings and say 4.

The idea of reciprocity refers to the fact that larger units require fewer units to measure a specific aspect.  A particular distance might be 1 yard or 3 feet or 36 inches.


Yesterday saw the second of two tragedies to strike Huntsville schools in just over a week: successive Fridays with school shootings.  The first was a student at Discovery Middle School, and the second was a trio of faculty members at UAHuntsville.

I don’t have any statistics or evidence to present, but it seems to me from what I’ve seen over the past 4 years that schools can be places of tremendous conflict.  Faculty, staff, students, parents: all seem to experience tension that I wouldn’t have thought possible when I was outside of the educational community.  Why is this so in an instituion that has a mission of fostering personal growth?

How can we as “insiders” reduce the tension and conflict?

But it was a beautiful snowy day of the sort we don’t see too often around here.

It melted by 2:30, but it was beautiful while it lasted!


(Feb 6) Okay, I’ll admit that I found the piece frustrating.  I like it.  I agree with it.  ‘Tain’t gonna happen.  I know that sounds a tad bit defeatist, but really, we want to see measurable results now in everything that we do.  We don’t want to use a crockpot even though it makes a delicious meal; we drop our exercise programs because it will take more than a week to lose those pesky pounds; we’ve forsaken (relatively) clean public transportation because, really, who wants to stop for someone else on the way to the mall?  I’d love to see each of my students having a strong foundation for learning that starts during adolescence, but it just doesn’t test well… (Why, now that I think of it, is it called “elementary” school?)  Enough negativism–now I’ll reread it for my edification as well as that of my class.

I found out today that I’ll have a yearbook photographer in my classroom to take candid shots for the yearbook.  That’s a bummer.  My classroom is clean…well, cluttered…I mean, it’s obvious that we do stuff there…okay, it’s really trashed and needs to be cleaned.  I fall into the category of “piler.”  Too bad.

For what it’s worth, I’m going to try to get back here and stretch myself a little bit. I recently enrolled in an eLearning course and had the opportunity to put a website on my profile. I have a website–sort of–but it needs a bit of dusting off. Here I am!

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